Soldering headers without drilling holes


rampadc shared detailed instructions of how to solder headers without drilling holes:

During a moment of weakness and extreme laziness, the idea of soldering a through-hole header as normal SMD components popped up. This method is probably quite old and may had been used by a lot people but since all homemade PCB guides I have read has not mentioned this method before, may this be the first.

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  1. When that that header gets any kind of loading placed on it, and you end up with 12 delaminated traces, you’ll realize why you haven’t seen it being done before.

  2. Step 2: as much as look at the headers only to watch them bend over and strip off the copper from the PCB – there’s a _reason_ SMD headers have not only sideways bent pins for better support, but usually _pins bent in alternating directions_ to avoid this happening; the ‘lever’ effect of any force applied the top of the pins is huge!

  3. Oh, I tried doing it once, with one-inline turned pin sockets. Thought I could get away with it… but alas. After trace lifted, I had to apply a blob of acrylic glue for support, thus spoiling the beauty of the board, heh. But I would use the method again, *ahem* as long as I leave enough space for a standard blob of glue/epoxy — not real pretty for presentation purposes but okay for boxed projects. Pulling on those standard 0.1″ headers would be worse than pulling on turned pin socket connections.

  4. I used to do this all the time.

    I also used to bend the legs out on DIP packages, cut off the lon, thin part of the leg then bend the remaining stub flush with the PCB to turn DIP packages into SM devices :)

    Worked a treat.


  5. This works fairly well provided you supply mechanical support (hot melt, etc) It works much better if the header can be laid flat the pins extending beyond the edge with the plastic spacer bar flush with edge of the board.


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